A voice that was heard often singing on the patio of The Landing and at Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Fest in 2017 and 2018, is just a few votes away from winning Season 17 of NBC’s The Voice.

Worcester-native Ricky Duran has been on a music and life journey over the last year that has taken him from the patios of Newport to Austin, and now to the season finale of The Voice.

Frankie Silvia, Bar Manager of The Landing, remembers fondly just how special it was when Duran performed over those two summers at The Landing.

“He was with us in 2017 and 2018 and for a couple Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festivals,” Silvia recalled. “We all always looked forward to when Duran was going to be performing, he’s special and extremely talented.”

The Landing shared the following video on their Facebook Page of Duran performing in June 2017.

Silvia actually was connected with Duran by Sam James, another Worcester-native who was playing down at the Landing often, and who a few years earlier had appeared on Season 2 and Season 3 of The Voice.

“Worcester is apparently a breading ground for amazing musicians,” Silvia joked.

“During the time Duran was performing here, his mom was sick”, Silvia recalled. “He text me earlier this year and said that he doesn’t need to be in Worcester anymore and that he was chasing his dream and either headed for Nashville or Austin”.

According to Duran’s bio on The Voice, Ricky lost his mother to breast cancer earlier this year.

Duran, now 29-years-old, ended up choosing Austin, Texas as his new home, and shortly after took a shot at The Voice.

“Ricky had text me right around the most recent Seafood Festival to tell me that he was going to be on The Voice“, Silvia said. “I had never seen the show before, I get goosebumps every time he is on and actually have found myself getting emotional during some of his performances, his journey and what he’s been through is so moving.”

Duran inherited his love of music from his father, who was a musician with another full-time job to support the family, according to his bio provided by The Voice. At 6 years old, Ricky’s father taught him guitar and they played in a band together throughout Ricky’s high school years. Ricky went on to attend Berklee College of Music and form his own band while his father acted as their manager. Shortly after graduation, Ricky’s father tragically took his own life, but encouraged him to keep doing what he loved. Ricky has dedicated his life to music to carry on his father’s legacy and comes to The Voice to make his parents proud.

Duran, who is on Team Blake, is now in the final 4 and will be up against Rose Short, Jake Hoot, and Katie Kadan.

The Voice will return on Monday, December 16, during which the Top 4 will perform for their final chance at winning the singing competition. A winner will be announced during the final elimination episode of Season 17 on Tuesday, December 17.

“All of Newport should be cheering for (and voting for) Ricky,” Silvia said. “He’s truly a great man and is so talented, we were lucky to have him. Watch on Monday and show him some love and support by voting for him”.

As far as if we’ll ever see Ricky down at The Landing again following his success on The Voice? “I’ve been texting back and forth with Ricky”, Silvia said. “He’s promised me that he’ll be ‘back at your building again’ soon, “Ricky always has a home here in Newport”.

Video: Ricky Duran performs the rock classic “Let It Be” during The Voice Live Top 8 Performances 2019.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.